Board Meets, Finalizes Challenges

The Minnesota State Canvassing Board met today, at 9 AM CT, to finalize all challenge resolutions. Each campaign brought forth a series of ballots that were believed to have been inaccurately allocated. At the end of the day, Franken gained 6 votes and Coleman added 2 for a net Franken gain of 4 votes. This addition extends Franken's lead to 50.

The final seven and a half minutes of the of the Canvassing Board's discussion can be viewed below or downloaded (*.wmv, 00:07:41, 87.7 MB):

Shortly after the Canvassing board concluded, Marc Elias, Franken's lead lawyer, conducted a brief press conference. Below is an excerpt followed by the full video:

Marc Elias: And now with everything except for the absentee ballots counted we are leading by 50 votes. We could not be more thrilled with where we stand, in this process. This recount has gone exceptionally well.


Marc Elias: At every stage we have gained votes. And we have every reason to believe that will be true of the absentee ballot review as well. As you know we made an offer to accept all thirteen hundred and fifty of them, because we are confident that if all those were counted we would gain even more votes.

Source: (*.wmv, 00:03:56, 45.5 MB)

Tony Trimble then discussed the Coleman campaign's view of the recount proceedings in a lengthier proceeding. An excerpt is available below followed by the video:

Tony Trimble: The Canvassing Board, as we all know, has not taken care of the duplicate voting, the double voting thats occured in Minneapolis. We are faced with an artificial Franken lead, of a, double digits is all. There were a hundred double counted ballots, actually a hundred and ten doubled counted ballots that will wipe out that lead and keep Coleman, justifiably in front. That's where we stand today.


Reporter A: If you have that faith in local officials, why are you not accepting their list of the thirteen hundred?

Tony Trimble: We have faith in local officials, they're going do the right thing. But we have brought to their attention, and the Franken campaign's attention, that there is another stack, a small stack ten to twelve thousand that ought to be reviewed. And we have faith that they will produce those, and show those to the Franken folks [so that they can agree].

Source: (*.wmv, 00:09:51, 113 MB)

Minnesota Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie then held a Press Conference. The first, probably ten minutes, pertained directly to the recount; the second half focused on some of the legislative responsibilities of the Secretary of State. I only have the first portion in video form, but the second portion is still available, and pretty interesting. The video portion is available below along with an excerpt from part one:

Mark Ritchie: To my knowledge neither of the campaigns even attempted to get agreement from the other campaign to meet this requirement. So as of three o'clock yesterday this agreement made by both campaigns, the local elections officials, and our office was that by three they had to have agreement by both campaigns to add any additional challenges. It is not that complicated of a rule. It is under the order of the SC of MN. Its a very straight forward thing that's fairly easy to read and interpret. If anybody would like to ask for further clarification on whether this rule should be changed they should say that, but that's a different thing than saying the rule does not exist.

Reporter A: So the rules says that after 3 PM you cannot add to pile 5, except by mutual agreement.

Mark Ritchie: Correct.

Part 1 Video: (*.wmv, 00:10:55, 125 MB) Part 2 Audio: (*.wav, 00:11:27, 1.06 MB)

The only remaining step, for the Canvassing Board, revolves around acknowledging sum potential 1,350 wrongfully rejected absentee ballots. The board will meet on January 5th and 6th from 2:30 to 5:00 PM CT. During this time, the five member committee will review the challenged absentee ballots before they allocated. It is possible, perhaps even probable that on January 6th the State Canvasing Board will declare that one of the candidates has received the most votes. This is not to be confused with an election certificate. Acknowledging the receiver of the most votes does not imply certification. Once it is known who received the most votes, the loser may request an "election contest" within seven days. If a contest does occur, the winner is officially certified after the resolution of that contest. If there is no contest, the winner is certified seven days later.

Minnesota will not have a second Senator on January 6th, the would-be day of admittance.

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1 Response(s) to Board Meets, Finalizes Challenges

Mark NE
12/31/2008 7:07:14 PM CT

Great job; will be interesting to see if Franken can stay on top.

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